Changing Your Relationship with Food

I have always been open about sharing my own fears and anxieties with “diets” and restrictive eating plans.  Having spent over half of my life either dieting or planning the next one, I have finally accepted that this is not a way to live joyfully or healthy!  Changing that relationship with food has been a journey. Juicing and fasting, for me, has been a significant contributor to my new perspective.
With tools such as Ayurveda, juicing, and cleansing, I can appreciate food as medicine because it is alkalizing and fueling my body with nutrients.  My gratitude for access to this information in this age we live in, is immeasurable.  It is not easy to change a belief system created over a lifetime, but with practice and patience, my experience with food is shifting to one that is nourishing and healthy versus fattening or bad and abundant versus deprivation.
Over the 36 hours we will juice cleanse each week, we will fuel our bodies in abundance…16 pounds of organic vegetables and fruits, pure organic sprouted almonds and warm teas with spices that calm the digestive system!  No depriving our bodies!  The off days should be abundant with healthful food, beautiful meals the color of the rainbow, green juices, warm tea and self care!
Last week we reviewed daily routine and the effect it has on our bodies, our mind and balance of the doshas.  According to Ayurveda, each of us has a constitution of Pitta (Fire & Water), Kapha (Earth & Water) or Vata (Space & Air).  All three are present in the body, the different combinations makes each one of us completely unique to anyone else on the planet!  Most people will have one dosha that is predominant, or two equally predominant or in rare cases all three equally.  Knowing your dosha is helpful in creating a routine and diet that will maintain balance and harmony in your life!
Here is a link to a QUIZ to determine your dosha!
Below are 10 tips for consumption from an Ayurvedic perspective:
1.  Eat in a quiet and peaceful environment, away from TV, phone or heated discussions because that could compromise the digestive process.
2.  Start each meal with a moment of gratitude.
3.  Only eat when you are hungry.  It is good and healthy to actually be hungry, it means the Agni is burning strong and the body is craving nutrients.  Eating when not in a state of hunger, the Agni will burn out leading to poor digestion and assimilation (assimilation creates Ama or toxins in the body).  Snacking and eating in-between meals prohibits the body from reaching that state of hunger and overworking the digestive system.
4.  Wait until the previous meal is fully and completely digested before eating again.  Depending on your constitution, it will take 3-6 hours to digest a meal.
5.  Properly chew thoroughly and slow down!  This aids in pre-digesting before the stomach goes to work!
6.  Avoid overeating.  The trick is to stop eating as soon as you reach that comfort place.
7.  Never eat stressed or upset!  Digestion is more than the food we eat, it is digesting experiences and emotions also.  The entire body network is connected, so the mind is in constant communication with our guts.  Eating while upset leads to indigestion issues.
8.  Always sit to eat.  This practice of sitting allows the body to be in a relaxed state, not active, allowing for better digestion.
9.  Eat each meal close to the exact same time everyday.  Ayurveda teaches us to live by the circadian clock, nature’s clock.
10. Allow yourself space to rest after each meal.  Giving the body and mind 5 or 10 minutes before rushing off to the next thing allows digestion to begin with ease!
It should also be noted that ice cold and carbonated drinks should be omitted during meals.  Cold drinks serve as a shock to the system and carbonated drinks create excess gas in the stomach.  It is best to not drink at all during meals.  If that habit is tough to break, try sipping warm water or broth.
We hope you can begin a new relationship with food this year and these tips help you on your journey. ~ Amanda